The New Face Of Nursing Practice.
As we conclude the year 2021 Nurses’ Week, I hope that it has served as a time of appreciation not just from without but mostly from within. I have taken some time to personally reflect on my nursing practice, I hope you have too? I believe it’s a time we ought to evaluate our nursing practice as well as how we have contributed to the progress of the profession in the past year(s).
I hope we are not just asking people to celebrate nothing? Have you been an addition to this profession or otherwise? In the last one year what has been the defining moments for you? Times when patients were grateful they were in your care even other health care providers were glad to provide care on your watch?
The hospital community is a complex one. As much as we want to provide quality nursing care to every patient there are several personal, structural and organizational barriers to it (Agreed! but I sincerely do not want to toe that path). There are several interactions which occur to bring about patient care and the nurse is the centre of it all!
When these interactions are handled well the nurse ‘shines’ if otherwise, the nurse bears the brunt of it. I know many nurses have diverse experiences when it comes to patient care; we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. The good I dare say are far and in between (This is familiar terrain for us all!) but if nursing practice will not continue the way it has been then we need to become the new face of nursing practice by providing empathetic care!
A mother who wants her home to be established and conducive to all family members builds it by wisdom. A mother sustains the atmosphere in her home. In like manner the nurse; you and I must take responsibility for the prevailing atmosphere in our wards, units, departments and hospitals for our sake, the benefit of other health care providers and ultimately for the ultimate good of the patients.
As much as there are several mitigating factors to quality care, can we as nurses become the locus of change? Let us play our part irrespective of the other party(ies). We must deliberately develop our emotional intelligence to be able to do this.
Sincerely, I know that I am asking a lot from us but if nursing practice would move from where it is to where it ought to be especially in Nigeria; if we would positively impact the lives of our patients we must be ready to nurse our patients with the new face of empathetic care. We must be ready to go the extra mile for them even when it hurts! I am not advocating for the usual (which is even scarce these days), I am advocating for the unusual; a commitment towards empathetic nursing care irrespective of personal, structural or organizational barriers.
As we begin another nursing year, can we be deliberate with the next set of patients we care for.
Ask yourself what exactly is the patient going through? If I were the patient, what would I want done for or said to me? Let that guide your care. Nurse with the new face of care, be an empathetic care giver!
Happy Nurses’ week!
Omoteleola O. Abolade
Writes for Fellow Nurses Africa.